Note – From Pastor Joshua Skelly

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
 
I find it incredible that God Himself. The creator of the universe takes on the title of our “Heavenly Father.” Those who have put their faith and trust in Him are now His children for all eternity.
 
Recognize God as the Father and grasp the depths of His amazing love. John 3:16, probably the most famous verse of all time, says He SO loved the world. His love is unconditional, unrelenting,  and intense. It’s the love that forgives, heals and restores us from Satan’s power and allows us to be a free child of God.
 
God our Father is secure. One of the strongest fears people face is abandonment. We do not want those we love to leave us. God is unlike anything we have in this world. He never leaves us or forsakes us. If we are His child He will never let go!
 
“be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
 
God is a personal Father. He is Father to many but he knows and cares for YOU individually. The Bible says that he knows the strands of hair on your head. Jesus said, God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. Jesus then asked, How much more does He care for you? That’s God the Father; loving, secure and personal. What a great Father He truly is!
 
-Pastor Joshua Skelly
 
Joshua Skelly is the Student Pastor at Topeka Baptist Church in Topeka, KS.  He joined the TBC staff in 2017 after serving as a youth leader in Cincinnati for two years. Joshua is currently enrolled in seminary at Luther Rice University, where he plans on taking his Masters in Religious Ministries. Joshua and his wife Rachel were married in 2016.  Joshua oversees all the student ministries from 6th grade and up as well as social media and web design.  To find out more about Joshua or about Topeka Baptist Church visit topekabaptist.org.  


Note – From Pastor Eric Tastet

Hi, my name is Eric.  I am a pastor in Nevada of a church that my wife and I started 7 years ago!  It’s been a beautiful journey watching God build His church.
 
I am writing to encourage you and let you know that you are deeply loved by Jesus!  How awesome is that?  I remember when I first heard about Jesus, I was 13 years old.  I did not grow up as a Christian at all.  As a matter of fact, I grew up without a father in my mom’s house as she was a single parent.  I watched her struggle and work several jobs.  She did not believe in God – and still doesn’t.  However, I was introduced to Jesus by a good friend I met in school.  This introduction changed the course of my life.  And I wanted to encourage you to learn to walk with God and fall in love with Him.
 
May God bless you as you learn to follow Him.  I will pray for you as you grow in the Lord!
 
Your Friend,
 
Pastor Eric Tastet
 
Eric is the Lead Pastor of Sierra View Baptist Church in Reno, NV.  In June of 2008, Pastor Eric and his family moved from the Chicago area to Reno, NV. Eric believed God wanted them to plant an exciting new church in his home town. Finally, after hard work and due diligence, the doors of Sierra View Baptist Church were opened on June 20, 2010. Eric has been serving as the Lead Pastor ever since.  To learn more about Pastor Eric or about Sierra View Baptist Church visit: https://svbcreno.org/.


Note – From Pastor Daniel Stevens

I was born to a single mother and throughout my life I have had many men come and go. Some of them treated me better than others, but none of them stuck. There was never one that became my dad.
 
As a child, we moved often. When I was sixteen years old we made the move that changed my life. It was in this new place that I was introduced to the gospel for the first time and truly experienced the love of God. I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior. Now God was my father, and the people in the church were my family. This changed my life forever!
 
The change would be more dramatic than even I could imagine. Through various circumstances God brought me into a new family. My mother had gone to prison and the pastor of our church along with his family welcomed me in and made me a part of their family. God was now my father and He has brought a wonderful family into my life.
 
Through these circumstances, I learned of the love God has for me and I have seen His blessings upon my life each and every day. I also learned what it meant to be part of a family. There is no greater joy than being part of His family.  To learn more on how to be part of God’s family click here:
.
 
From Pastor Daniel Stevens
Senior Pastor
Grace Baptist Church
Anderson, In


Note – From Heather Teis

Life without a dad is not easy. Life with a dad who is a poor example and an even worse influence might be even harder. But the good news is that you are not alone or without hope! Even those with a wonderful earthly father, will discover that there are deeper needs in their life than can be met by any human relationship. Can I share two thoughts about allowing God to meet needs in your life and the truth about who He is and how much He cares for you?
 

1. You are not “less” and you are not limited by the absence of a father.

Sometimes we believe that because of our family or lack thereof, that we can never be used by God. Greater things are meant for other people- people with parents who were there for them and taught them what they needed to know- not for people from a broken home. This is far from true! The Bible gives us many examples of heroes of the faith who were without a father’s influence. Just to name a couple:  Daniel (taken captive as a slave in early preteen or teen years), Joseph (sold into slavery by his own brothers- without his father until he was an adult himself), Moses (grew up in a worldly foster home), and Timothy (had an unsaved father). Many others we simply don’t have any information on how long they had their father with them. For example, most theologians believe that Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, died at some point before Christ began his public ministry at age 30. We do know he and Mary had other children, and he is mentioned when Christ was twelve, but that is the last we hear of him.

And just for good measure, can we throw in Prince Jonathan, David’s best friend, on this list? (His story is found all throughout the books of I and II Samuel.) He is one of my favorite Bible heroes. While his dad was most certainly alive, he was making all the wrong choices, yet Jonathan still chose to live righteously in spite of it all. His dad’s influence did not determine his destiny.

Don’t forget that! I’ve watched the strongest of Christian men and the best fathers the world has seen break down and weep because they fear that they will be like their absent father and desert their family. Nothing could be further from reality as evidenced by the daily choices they make and their great passion for their wives and children. Yet, Satan wants to condemn us to fear, and he will use any weapon he can. By God’s grace, we are new creatures in Him (II Cor. 5:17) and He promises that He will complete His work that He has begun in us. (Phil. 1:6) God is the most creative Author you have ever read; He writes beautiful stories in the lives of individuals from all different backgrounds. That is Who He is. Just follow Him and have no fear!
 

2. God sees you and hears you.

You may know about Abraham, God’s servant who was the beginning of the Jewish nation, but have you heard of his servant girl Hagar? She was an Egyptian servant girl who was in the household of Abraham and Sarah. Here she was this teen girl- perhaps with parents also as servants in the camp or perhaps not.  But she likely looked up to this Christian man Abraham and his wife Sara, only to be used and thrown away by them in the most un-Christianlike manner. It makes me cringe every time I read it. At her lowest point in Genesis 16, when she has been betrayed and abused, she is on her own a young woman pregnant and alone. It is in this moment, that this poor girl who is insignificant in the eyes of everyone around her is met by God. He sends an angel to give her a promise and hope for her future. Her hope is not dependent on other people- for as you will see later in her life people fail her again, but her hope lies completely in the One who sees her; that is what she calls this true God who meets her in the desert. She names him “El Roi”- the One who sees me. 

Others may not see the depth of  your pain or understand the greatness of your need, but there is One who has not missed a thing. He has seen every wrong inflicted upon you (and He will repay- you can trust Him); He has seen every tear you have shed (Ps. 56:8), and He is ready to meet every single need you have if you will let Him. He is the God who sees and who provides. Years later, this young woman is sent away alone with her young child to care for by herself. (Genesis 21:9-21) She finds herself in a desert without food or water. She has no hope; the world is on her shoulders, and she is ready to give up. She actually turns her back away form her child so she doesn’t have to watch him die. But God sends her what she needs just as she needs it. He gave her a well of water and a promise for her future. Her help did not come from human hands but from Divine deliverance.

God not only sees, but He hears your cry. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3 Will you do that? Will you trust your Heavenly Father for every need in your heart and life? He is truly waiting to fill it. He is more than enough.

Heather Teis
Pastor’s Wife
Southern Hills Baptist Church


Note – From David Taylor

 

God is not your father! There I said it. The most profound truth I ever learned and the biggest obstacle in my own walk with God.

 
What do I mean by saying “God is not your father”? Over 25 years of working with kids and even in my own life I’ve learned that our first view of God the Father is largely the image of our own earthly fathers. If your dad here on earth abandons you and doesn’t care for your needs, we tend to project that on God. God becomes someone we believe doesn’t care about us or may abandon us at any time. My own father was relationally distant, I don’t remember a single deep conversation in my entire life and he was around every day at home and he lived until I was 32 years old. Often my dad could be explosive in anger so I was always careful not to bother him or get too close to him though I longed to be close to my dad. On one occasion my dad hit me for something I said that he interpreted as being disrespectful. I didn’t say anything intentionally disrespectful and didn’t expect to get hit. My nose was broken so badly by the hit I needed surgery to fix it. I buried that memory for many years as too difficult to process. My own family did not know how I broke my nose. I made up a story of falling down. Over the years I told a few made up stories about my nose. I couldn’t face the truth. My father, a man respected and loved by so many, a devout man of faith, and a generous giver to many ministries and people, permanently rearranged my face in anger when I was 13.


Note – From Linda Banister

 

One morning I woke up to the realization that I was raising two children, by myself. This was not the plan, not my dream.
 
This was not what I wanted for my children, or anyone’s children.
 
The statistics were staggering. Telling me all of the horrible things that my children would experience and possibly become, or never become. I was not going to let that happen.

 

You don’t have to let those things happen to you. You don’t have to be the person statistics describe you to be.